Happy Persie to you! Looking back on RvP’s 30th birthday year and his fine 30-goal haul at Manchester United

By Tim Hyde

Robin van Persie marked his first season at Manchester United with a 30 goal haul that helped the Reds reclaim the Premier League crown.

Yesterday the flying Dutchman hit another 30 mark as he celebrated his birthday.

In honour of United’s title-winning catalyst MM have decided to take a look back at the career of the superstar goalscorer…

Van Persie was born August 6, 1983, in Rotterdam, Netherlands; while a career in football may appear a far cry from the profession of his artist parents there is certainly an unquestionable creative genius lurking within him.

This is echoed in the praise that the striker has received throughout his illustrious career.

“In terms of impact he has made as big an impact as any player I can imagine,” said Sir Alex Ferguson.

RvP’s collection of individual accolades is impressive to say the least: back-to-back Premier League golden boots, PFA player of the year, Premier League PFA Team of the Year, ESM Team of the Year and the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year.

Van Persie is undoubtedly living up to his potential, scoring 37 goals for Arsenal and firing 30 for United in the past two seasons. This prolific output has echoes of United’s other legendary Dutvch striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

The boy from Rotterdam is a product of his hometown club Feyenoord, where he was named Dutch Football Talent of the Year for the 2001–02 season and won the 2002 UEFA Cup.

However, after disagreements with manager Bert van Marwijk, Van Persie moved to Premier League side Arsenal for £2.75 million in 2004 and was cited as a long-term replacement for Dutch maestro Dennis Bergkamp.

Van Perise won FA Community Shield and FA Cup in his first season with the Gunners but did not win another major trophy for the rest of his eight-year spell in North London.

The striker became the club captain of Arsenal on 16 August 2011, however, a lack of silverware meant that RvP set his sights elsewhere and he shunned Manchester City and Juventus to join United for £24million.

His playing style, ability and his prolific goal scoring record for the national team have drawn comparisons to Dutch hero Marco van Basten. In 76 appearances for his country the Reds number 20 has scored an impressive 35 goals.

Van Persie has been a mainstay in the Ducth national set-up for over a decade. He represented the Netherlands at under-17, under-19, and under-21 level.

He made his senior international debut in 2005 in a friendly match against Romania and has gone on to represent his country in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups as well as Euro 2008 and Euro 2012.

On June 7 of this year the United forward was appointed official captain of the Dutch national team.

“I feel very flattered and really want to do it. I feel very honoured. I intend to stay captain,” he said.

It hasn’t always been so easy for Robin as in his early days at Arsenal he took more of a sidekick role alongside Premier League legend Thierry Henry.

Even when Henry was transferred to Spanish giants Barcelona RvP continued to have serious injury problems which meant significant periods on the sidelines.

Van Persie has also been through heart breaking losses in the 2010 World Cup final and the 2006 Champions League final.

However, despite the heartbreak Van Persie has found a home in Manchester that can cater to his ambitions.

With a Premier League title under his belt already the striker will be hoping that life in his 30s will be littered with silverware. 

Image courtesy of YahooUK video, with thanks. 

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